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Psychosocial Treatment of Substance Use Disorders in Adolescents

By Anil Malhotra, Debasish Basu and Nitin Gupta


Psychosocial treatment for substance use disorders is a broad "umbrella" term that brings under its folds a diverse array of non-pharmacological interventions for effective and global management of drug abuse. The common thread underlying these interventions is that they do not involve prescribing medicines in any form. This does not mean, however, that psychosocial treatment has any conflict with pharmacological treatment. Quite on the contrary, it has been documented that each modality of treatment helps the other. Specifically, psychosocial interventions can enhance pharmacological treatment efficacy by increasing medication compliance, retention in treatment, and acquisition of skills that reinforce the effects of medications. Other than this short-term goal of strengthening pharmacological efficacy, psychosocial treatment serves the even more important long-term goal of abstinence maintenance. Getting detoxified from an abused drug is relatively much easier than staying away from the drug in the long run, as evidenced by the world-wide high rate of relapse of treated drug addicts. Psychosocial treatment aims to overcome, or approximate, this difficult challenge. Staying drug free for a long period of time may be practically impossible for a substance abuser living a particular life style, often in a drug-using "sub-culture", where the primary preoccupation’s and themes of living revolve around drugs. Thus, long-term abstinence also necessarily implies, ultimately, a change of life style and adoption of a more productive life style. Accordingly, it follows that these are also the ultimate goals of psychosocial treatment for substance use disorders

Topics: Journal of Indian Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health
Publisher: Indian Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health
Year: 2005
OAI identifier:

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